It has been such a rewarding experience raising Iris and Lottie. It was a bit of a lifestyle adjustment at first, but now the bottle feedings and playtimes have become part of our daily routine. We were thrilled to see that their eating habits now include an abundance of hay and grain- a true sign that they are growing up! It’s funny to reflect on the first few weeks where they would grab one piece at a time, compared to the heavy mouthfuls they chomp down now.
After a couple weeks living in our mud room, the weather finally warmed up enough for us to feel comfortable moving the girls up to the barn. They are not yet living with Pepper or Riley but have a temporary stall to themselves. It’s actually a riot because Shane, the Arapawa goat, frequently pops his head to look over the stall wall and watches the girls play. We really feel as though these babies have introduced a revitalization of sorts within the barn- as up until now our youngest was 7 years old!
On really nice days, we bring the girls out on their leashes into Pepper and Riley’s pen and you wouldn’t believe how excited the girls get to run around the yard. I’ll admit I was nervous to let them off their leashes the first time in. Any mom will be able to relate- you worry about them getting into something you didn’t notice…however I quickly realized leaving them on leash posed more of a threat- as I couldn’t keep up with them! Tripping hazards… leashes getting caught and more- were risks I wasn’t willing to take either. It’s been a learning curve for sure. I am pleased to see that loud-mouth Iris has kept her spunk- if one of us is coming up back while they are out in the goat yard and we call Iris’ name- she responds back with the cutest Maaaaah ever. It literally sounds like she’s saying “Ma!!!!”. Our beloved Nate used to do the exact same thing- so it is nice to have that old vibe rekindled.
At first, I could tell Pepper didn’t know what to do with the girls but as we brought them in more frequently- he warmed up to them. He will strut out of the barn, walk over to Iris or Lottie- sniff them and casually walk back into the stall. This will repeat many times throughout their visit in the yard. He acts as though he doesn’t really care but I know better 🙂 He’s playing it cool. It’ll be exciting to see how their relationship develops over the years to come. Riley is always more shy so that too will be interesting to watch.
It’s also exciting to report that the girls have been making appearances during our school tours! We bring them out on their leashes and allow them to interact with the teachers and children. They are a predictable hit! People cannot get enough of them. Having been bottle fed by numerous visitors over the last month, these girls are fearless when it comes to meeting new people.
There is nothing but good things and exciting developments to report so far. It’s amazing to think how far the girls have come in just a little over one month since bringing them home. Their personalities are a perfect fit for our farm family- and we cannot wait to see how they will continue to grow.
The month ahead will entail many more changes- they will be weened off the milk for good. We expect them to grow a lot more and when they are big enough, they will officially move in with their brothers Pepper and Riley! You can count on more updates on Iris and Lottie as time goes by, and will let you know when they are out living for the public to enjoy so you can visit them on an Open Farm Day! Thanks for reading!